I’ve lived all over, so I’m sort of a mish-mash of different regional characteristics. I cross streets like a New Yorker, have the politics (and sense of guilt when I leave a room without turning the lights off) of a Northern Californian, and try to treat people well – the way people do in Nebraska where I grew up (I’m also a big believer in chivalry – and believe that that’s entirely consistent with feminism). After spending a year in grad school at Oxford, I gained an appreciation of sticky toffee pudding, an ability to feel comfortable in a tux, and a habit of using “crap” as an adjective (without the “-py”, as in “Well, that was a crap show.”).
I can be pretty impatient. I’m a fast walker, and I get annoyed with people who walk too slowly on the Metro escalator (on a related note, I really think that escalator-walking should be an Olympic sport – in addition to speed, there’s a great deal of technique involved, plus the weather throws a wild card into the mix). At the same time, I love long dinners – I’m the sort of person who has no shame about telling the waitress five times that she’ll need to come back later to take our orders because we’ve been too deep in conversation to have looked at the menus. And in response to that question about “How do you feel when you do nothing for an entire day?” my answer was (assuming it’s a weekend or vacation day) an unequivocal “Good” – and would have been “Great” or “Fantastic” if those had been options. I suppose I’m just very discriminating about my time – I’m very driven and productive at work, but I also love things that are 100% relaxing, like eating popcorn and ice cream while watching movies with no redeeming value (yes, I’m a fan of Vin Diesel’s classic “XXX” and the entire “Fast and Furious” franchise).
I can be rather particular too. I believe that hoppy beer should be consumed from a pint glass and not from the bottle, and I like my red wine slightly chilled, not room temperature. But I definitely don’t take myself too seriously, and I sometimes have a tough time with people who do. (And for the record, I certainly think that there are times when there’s nothing better than a big bucket of cold bud lights).
As much as I love trying new things, I’m also pretty sentimental and devoted to traditions. My birthday celebration, for example, has for about the past 20 years involved, in order, a birthday dinner, Christmas Eve service, driving tour of the best Christmas lights in town, and my mom’s cheesecake.
I also love people-watching. Not in a creepy way – in a “Let’s see what economic principles and psychological theories we can apply to the couple at the table next to us” sort of way.